Bearded ladyImage: JMS BoggioPaul LePage, governor of Maine, is pretty confident that nothing can harm him as long as he doesn’t know sh*t about dick. Here’s his scientific assessment of the dangers of plastic additive bisphenol A:

“Quite frankly, the science that I’m looking at says there is no [problem],” LePage said. “There hasn’t been any science that identifies that there is a problem.”

LePage then added: “The only thing that I’ve heard is if you take a plastic bottle and put it in the microwave and you heat it up, it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. So the worst case is some women may have little beards.”

Little beards? Awesome! I can be a hipster, and also do this!

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Too bad that’s not how science f*cking works!

LePage didn’t specify what “the science I’m looking at” referred to but I’m guessing it was a children’s book about baby goats, or possibly something about St. Wilgefortis. (Is that the only hagiography joke you’ll ever see on Grist? Let’s hope so!)

In fact there’s been a crapload of science that contradicts LePage’s assertions — he just hasn’t seen it because he’s been busy covering his ears and going “LA LA LA.” First of all, estrogen doesn’t cause beards — kind of the opposite. Also, this:

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Recent research most often conducted on animals has linked BPA to a host of health issues including reproductive problems, learning disabilities, cancer and obesity. Critics of BPA contend the chemical poses the greatest risk to children.

And this:

Many scientists suspect that BPA interferes with hormonal function-especially in fetuses and children: A 2005 study published in the journal Human Reproduction found that women who had miscarried three or more times showed significantly higher levels of the chemical than women who’d had successful pregnancies.


Sure, there’s some science that says BPA is A-OK, and if you don’t give a crap about having an accurate picture of the universe you could just look at those and studiously ignore everything else. There’s the flawed FDA report, for instance — cough cough — and an NIH assessment cautiously ranged from “some concern” to “negligible concern” over BPA’s various effects on development.

But it’s insane to say there’s no science that identifies problems just because you have chosen not to look at any of that science — it’s like putting on a blindfold so a bear won’t eat you. And saying that estrogen analogues will cause women to have “little beards” … well, that’s more like holding up a giant sign that says “I DON’T KNOW WHAT SCIENCE MEANS.” (Perhaps he’s thinking of bans on gay marriage? We hear that’s the leading cause of beards.)